LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan State Police have honored Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Spaniola for his efforts in prosecuting Eric Knysz for the murder of trooper Paul Butterfield.
On Tuesday in Mason County Circuit Court, Knysz was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the shooting death of Butterfield during a Sept. 9, 2013, traffic stop on Custer Road near Townline Road in Mason County.
MSP Director Kriste Kibbey Etue held a private ceremony with MSP personnel and law enforcement officials to commend and thank Spaniola for his dedication to the case. During the ceremony at the Romney Building, Kibbey Etue presented Spaniola with an MSP Award for Professional Excellence.
“I am honored to recognize Prosecutor Paul Spaniola for his diligent efforts that led to the conviction of Eric Knysz in the first-degree murder case of Trooper Paul K. Butterfield II,” Kibbey Etue said. “The MSP will forever be grateful for his dedication to upholding the law and for seeing that the individual responsible for killing a law enforcement officer was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Spaniola’s wife, Pat, and father-in-law, Clem Sellers of Owosso, were also in attendance.
Spaniola recognized the jury as well as the work of everyone who committed their time and efforts to the investigation over the past couple of months, especially MSP members Scott Rios, David Johnson and Kevin Leavitt.
“It was an honor for me to prosecute this case on behalf of Trooper Paul K. Butterfield II, his family as well as for all law enforcement officers who protect us every day,” said Spaniola. “I am also proud to stand up for their families who anxiously await their safe return from work each day.”